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Armor-Piercing Ammunition Information

NCJ Number
AFTE Journal Volume: 17 Issue: 1 Dated: (January 1985) Pages: 34-38
R E Powis
Date Published
5 pages
Testimony provides information on armor-piercing ammunition (APA) relevant to proposed legislation (H.R. 641, H.R. 943, H.R. 3791, and Section 1006 of S. 1762) that would regulate and require testing of such ammunition and require mandatory penalties for use of APA during commission of a Federal felony.
The general characteristics of APA include a solid projectile or hard bullet core; a relatively large propellant charge; and consequently, a high muzzle velocity. A number of misconceptions exist about APA and about the soft-body armor worn by police. Protective vests are designed to protect police from the most commonly used type of ammunition, which is usually standard non-APA. Moreover, there is no known case of a police officer being killed by APA that has penetrated a soft-body armor vest. In addition, under the language of the bill, theoretically, it would require testing and regulation of an infinite variety of cartridges, would be likely to include rifle-type ammunition, and would make physical identification of restricted ammunition very difficult. For these reasons, the proposed legislation is not supported by the administration. Additionally, voluntary restrictions on the sale of APA have been agreed to by manufacturers.


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